Richmond Phillips, a District of Columbia police officer already entangled in a weapons and paternity lawsuit, added the charges of two counts of first-degree murder to his court cases after the bodies of girlfriend Wynetta Wright and daughter Jaylin were found in a Washington D.C. park. The murder trial began on Monday.
Richmond Phillips was charged of murdering his 20-year-old girlfriend and then leaving the 1-year-old child in a overheated car to die in June 2011. According to WJLA, the temperature inside the car reached over 100 degrees when the police found the child still buckled up in the car seat.
"Richmond Phillips committed the crimes because he was facing a paternity lawsuit and didn't want to pay child support for a baby girl he fathered out of wedlock," prosecutor Angela Alsobrooks said to the jury in her opening statement.
For several years, Richmond Phillips has been a member of the Metropolitan Police Department Narcotics Unit. Pressure on the lawsuit charges apparently provoked the police officer to commit such horrible crimes.
Prosecutors claim Richmond Phillips shot Wynetta Wright then drove the car to a short distance away where he ruthlessly left the child to cook inside the hot car where the doors were locked and the windows closed.
However, defense lawyer Brian Denton argued the evidence is not enough for his client to be convicted. "My client is innocent. He didn't do this thing because the evidence is circumstantial," Denton stated.
In 2012, there were still numerous horrible reports of children being left inside hot cars. "Eight children died of hyperthermia this year during the first week of August alone," ABC News reported.